August 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Department of Fish & Game has launched a new hotline phone number for reporting mountain lion sightings at (951)443-2944.
What happens when a lion sighting is reported?
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) logs hundreds of Wildlife Incident Reports annually related to mountain lion sightings. The vast majority of these reports (79 percent) are resolved by providing information about the natural history and behavior of mountain lions.
Another 18 percent of cases are legitimate threats posed by mountain lions that can be resolved by modifying human behavior. (Percentages are based on analysis of five years’ worth of data.)
On average, fewer than three percent of these reports result in a mountain lion being identified as an imminent threat to public safety and killed under the DFG’s Wildlife Public Safety Guidelines. From 2001 through 2008, only two lions have been killed in San Diego County.
If a lion is attacking a person, you should call 911. Other sightings may be reported to (951) 443-2944
In Alpine, San Diego Sheriff's representative Paula Dickensen explained how local mountain lion calls are handled. "We usually block off the area for safety reasons. Yes, folks call, and they do attempt capture first. If dangerous to the immediate public, they MAY shoot, but not to kill. We have not had a call out for this in a while."
The public is advised to avoid feeding mountain lions or other actions that can lead animals to lose their natural fear of humans, a shift that can have deadly consequences for the large predators.
Safety tips for living in mountain lion territory can be found at